FIA not ruling out penalties after secret test

The question remains: Did Mercedes unfairly benefit from the exclusive test?

FIA not ruling out penalties after secret test

May 27 (GMM) The FIA is not ruling out penalties, after stewards on Sunday investigated Mercedes' secret Barcelona tyre test.

Before the Monaco Grand Prix, Red Bull and Ferrari filed an official protest, arguing the three-day test with a 2013-spec car was a breach of the sporting rules.

Having conducted an investigation after Sunday's race, the FIA confirmed it knew Pirelli wanted to do the test, but only gave a conditional green light in the event "every team is offered the opportunity" to also test.

"The FIA received no confirmation that all teams had been given an opportunity to take part in this test," the FIA statement added.

F1's governing body is not ruling out the intervention now of the International Tribunal, which could "inflict penalties".

Mercedes' Niki Lauda, however, told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo that the FIA "sent a delegate" to the test, and that Charlie Whiting and Bernie Ecclestone knew about it as well.

A Pirelli spokesman said Ferrari was invited to test and turned down the offer, while Dr Helmut Marko said a Red Bull engineer had also been "informally" asked.

It is rumoured that Red Bull and Ferrari both said no because they believed the test would have to be done with a two-year old car.

Indeed, between Bahrain and China, a Pirelli tyre test took place with a 2010 Ferrari.

But "Every team would like an exclusive test with a current car," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said on Sunday.

Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn told Auto Motor und Sport: "We knew nothing about it (the Mercedes test)."

But Mercedes' executive director Toto Wolff denies the team tried to hide the test, and dismissed suggestions the German squad used the opportunity to test car developments.

"There was only ten days between the request and the test," he said, "which is not enough time to produce any development parts."

And Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda insisted: "When we were asked to do this, our team boss Ross Brawn called Charlie Whiting and asked if a test is compatible with the sporting regulations.

"Charlie consulted with the FIA lawyers and gave us the green light.

"Moreover, Pirelli didn't just ask us, but Red Bull as well."

Christian Horner confirmed that Red Bull was asked by Pirelli. "We declined," he said, "because we are of the opinion that such a test violates the regulations."

Wolff, however, is livid, particularly as the storm coincided with Nico Rosberg's convincing victory in Monaco.

"The term 'sore losers' comes to mind," he is quoted by Speed Week.

But the question remains: did Mercedes unfairly benefit from the exclusive test?

"Impossible to say," quadruple world champion Alain Prost told France's RMC Sport, "but I don't think we can say this win was because of the test. That wouldn't be fair.

"What is certain is that unauthorised things are not allowed. Time will tell," the great Frenchman added.

shares
comments
Monaco Grand Prix - Who was your Driver of the Day?

Previous article

Monaco Grand Prix - Who was your Driver of the Day?

Next article

What was behind Mercedes and Pirelli secret F1 tyre test?

What was behind Mercedes and Pirelli secret F1 tyre test?
Load comments
The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021